The Top 7 Foods That Cause Inflammation

The Top 7 Foods That Cause Inflammation

Inflammation is both good and bad, depending on the situation. On the one hand, it’s a process that the body uses to heal cell damage. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can become dangerous and increase the risk of chronic health conditions like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Interestingly enough, your diet plays the biggest role in regulating inflammatory levels in the body. 

According to nutritionists, the foods you eat affect inflammation. According to a 2017 study, people with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet impacted the severity of symptoms. Limiting your consumption of foods that cause inflammation can be a great step to experience better, overall health. In addition to limiting inflammation-causing foods, it’s beneficial to focus on alkaline and anti-inflammatory foods. If you want to learn more about great anti-inflammatory foods to consume, click here

Most people aren’t aware of the foods that fuel the fire that is inflammation. Many of these foods are staples in the Standard American Diet, and we’ll detail what they are below. 

Processed Meat

The processed meat category includes any type of meat that has been dried, canned, smoked, salted, or cured in order to enhance flavor and shelf life. Some prime examples are beef jerky, bacon, salami, cold cuts, and sausage. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified processed meats as carcinogenic, but they can also increase inflammatory markers. Several studies found that processed meat may increase C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker of inflammation.

Vegetable And Seed Oils

The consumption of vegetable oils increased by 130% in the United States during the 20th century. Many scientists believe that certain vegetable oils promote inflammation because of the high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. These oils include soybean oil, corn oil, and grapeseed oil. Dietary intake of omega-6s is necessary, but only in moderation. It’s better to consume foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as they are healthy fats

Added Sugars

Added sugars exists in common foods that people love to enjoy. Breads, granola bars, salad dressings, crackers, cookies, and sodas all contain added sugars. They are very difficult to avoid and manufacturers add large doses of them to processed foods to improve the flavor profile. When you eat sugar, it enters the blood and insulin puts the sugar into your cells for energy. When you eat too much sugar, insulin tries to store the excess in fat cells, which increase in size over time.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

This sweetener is commonly found in processed foods, including soda, juice, ice cream, and candy. Like regular sugar, high-fructose corn syrup can increase inflammatory markers in the body. One study found that women who consumed more sugary beverages had a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory condition. A separate study found that increased consumption of high-fructose corn syrup-sweetened beverages led to higher risk of arthritis in adults ages 20-30.

Refined Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have a bad reputation, but not all of them are problematic. Eating refined carbohydrates can increase inflammatory markers, though. These foods include pasta, white bread, cookies, and other similar foods. Fiber is removed from refined carbs, whereas fiber exists in complex carbohydrates. Refined carbs also encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria that can increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. The high glycemic index of refined carbs also rapidly raises blood sugar. According to research, consuming foods with high glycemic index drives up inflammation, even in healthy adults. 

Excessive Alcohol

Moderate alcohol consumption may not increase inflammatory markers, but excessive alcohol consumption does. Additionally, higher amounts of alcohol can lead to other severe health problems. A small study found that CRP levels were higher in people who consumed more alcohol. The more alcohol they consumed, the more their CRP levels increased. People who drink a lot of alcohol may experience more bacterial toxins in the the colon. It also contributes to leaky gut syndrome, which can cause widespread inflammation.

Trans Fats

Fried foods, including mozzarella sticks, potato chips, and donuts are all high in trans fats. These fats are processed via hydrogenation by food manufacturers. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health sounded the alarm about trans fats in the early 1990s. This was primarily due to the fact that they trigger systemic inflammation. In fact, one study found that people who ate more trans fats had higher levels of CRP and interleukin-6 (IL-6), two inflammatory markers. Trans fats also raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 



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